Lady Bisons fall, 1-0, to DuBois in District 9 Class AAA title game
Monday, November 3, 2008
By Josh Mlot Sports Writer
BROCKWAY - It was close but no cigar for the Clearfield girls soccer team at Frank Varischetti Field in Brockway on Saturday, as the Lady Bisons were edged out by DuBois in the District 9 Class AAA Championship, 1-0.
But for a team that has persevered through youth, inexperience and injuries, going toe-to-toe with the big guns from DuBois in the title game could be considered a success.
"None of us had District 9 experience in the championship game," Clearfield head coach Jen Wright said. "We've got a lot of underclassmen. ... What can you say? We've got next year."
What can be said is that the Clearfield defense hung tight with a well-oiled Lady Beaver attack coming at it for 80 minutes, keeping the damage at a minimum.
Behind the back line was what Wright describes as a "phenomenal" effort from goalkeeper Brandie Centi, who punched away shots all day while racking up 11 saves and keeping her team's spirits up.
"Brandie was on her ‘A' game today," Wright said. "She didn't give up anything. Her hands were solid and she was mentally in the game, and you couldn't ask for anything more. She was awesome. She made save after save and her intensity, I think, kept our intensity up.
"Defensively I thought we were solid. Nelly (Janell Zalno) and (Lisa) Bumbarger were very strong, as well as (Emily) Barger, who just shut down (DuBois forward Alyssa Sciremammano) and didn't give her any room. (Candice) Morgan didn't let her mark through either, and (Jessica) Maines coming off the bench played well, too."
Meanwhile the Lady Bison offense tried to break through and give their keeper some support, but couldn't find a way.
Forwards B.J. Bowman and Brooke Mohney did a good job of staying connected with the midfielders, switching the field and making runs toward the net, but were unable to finish plays and get on the right end of the ball.
"We're not used to playing on the turf, but I think the girls came out and played well on it," Wright said. "It was just in that final third (the attacking third of the field) we couldn't get that last connection. There were a couple of opportunities that we had in the first half and the second half, and if we had capitalized on that it could have been different.
"I thought Brooke and B.J. really did a good job at the top working together as forwards. Our midfield was solid with Abby (Fishbone) and (Nichole) Powers inside and (Julia) Ammerman and (Katlyn) Reddinger outside. Then Kristen (Butler) coming off the bench helped us a lot - she was really into the game."
But the strong effort was for naught when in the 54th minute the Lady Beavers struck on a set piece. With Clearfield looking to attack up the field, DuBois midfielder Bethany Naugle bumped the Lady Bisons off the ball and charged forward while the referees kept their whistles in their pockets.
The non-call allowed Naugle to head toward the box and fire off a shot, which was deflected over the back line for a corner kick. The ensuing kick was lofted into the box by Kendra Smith, where Sciremammano put her foot on the ball and slipped it over the goal line for the game winner.
"It was a physical game," Wright said. "There were calls that could have been made and calls that couldn't have been made, but when you go out on the field the only thing you're going against is your opponent and yourself. I thought the officials, overall, had a nice game and I thought they kept everything pretty consistent. There are some you'd like to go your way, but overall it was a great game.
"I don't want to take anything away from DuBois, they had a set piece and we stress, ‘set pieces are key and important,' and they capitalized on it."
DuBois would have capitalized earlier if it hadn't been for Centi, who grabbed six saves in the first half, including one on Sciremammano in the opening moments of the game and again on a long, bending blast from Naugle.
Clearfield had an excellent opportunity late in the half when Barger sent the ball to Mohney in the middle, who ripped a hooking shot on net but was thwarted by Lady Beaver keeper Tori Vicklund.
The Lady Bisons stayed alive near the end of the stanza when Naugle sent a corner kick toward the goal and Centi smacked the ball away but not clear.
Two follow-up shots were cleared off the line by well-positioned Clearfield defenders, and the Lady Bisons kept things knotted at nil-nil going into the halftime break.
It looked as if Clearfield might grab the momentum as the second half opened up, with Mohney crossing the ball in to the head of Bowman, but the shot was pushed over the net. Shortly thereafter Bowman sent a bounding shot on net, but Vicklund was there for the stop.
After the flurry from the Lady Bisons, DuBois began to control the run of play and at 53:55 Sciremammano finished off the corner kick for the decisive score.
Clearfield finished the season as D-9 runner-up with a record of 7-12-1.
"Overall, I think our season was a success," Wright said. "We know what we have to build on for next year, and we have everybody back but one of our starting 11, which is great.
"We're optimistic about everything. You take the good with the bad and these girls got experience and got all the jitters out of them, and they know what it's like to be in a championship game."
DuBois 1, Clearfield 0
1. Alyssa Sciremammano, D, (Kendra Smith), 53:55.
Shots: Clearfield 5, DuBois 25.
Saves: Clearfield (Brandie Centi) 11, DuBois (Tori Vicklund) 2.
Corner kicks: Clearfield 0, DuBois 3.